David Thomson
David Thomson

Native American Council News

About the Native American Council

The ministries of Christ Church Cathedral have long included service to Native Americans. This was due in part to the bequest of Nina F. Lansley, which established the cathedral's Lansley Native American Endowment and Mission Fund in the early 1980s. But it can also be said that this ministry is rooted in deep respect and love that so many cathedral members have for their Native American brothers and sisters. In 2010, a Native American working group defined its mission and our vestry chartered a new Native American Council. The council has identified the following three goals to guide its work:

  1. Provide hands-on outreach by witnessing for and building awareness of the contemporary needs, values and traditions of Native American cultures in the US and Canada.
  2. Contribute to education and theological development of leadership within Native American communities.
  3. Support initiatives to empower Native American societies and ministries related to life needs, cultural sustainability and spiritual growth within Native American values. 

 Contact John Grate for more information.

Return to Navajoland

A team from Christ Church Cathedral's Native American Council will again return to Navajoland this summer. The group will conduct a Vacation Bible School and build cabinetry and shelving at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Coalmine, New Mexico. Read last year's team's blog.

Cathedral Grants for Native American Initiatives in 2014

Hands-on Outreach

Hands-on Outreach builds awareness of the contemporary needs, values and traditions of Native American cultures in the United States and Canada.

Mission Trip: $13,000. This grant provided funds for nine cathedral members to travel to Navajoland on a mission trip to assist St Mark's Episcopal Church, Coalmine, Arizona, with Vacation Bible School and other work projects.

Navajoland Economic Development: $1,933. This grant supported economic development activities of the Navajoland area mission, including serving on the ECN Development Council and underwriting a feasibility study for the development of St Christopher's Mission, in Bluffs, Utah.

Economic Development Fund for Sustainability: $10,000. This grant from the Native American Council, along with matching dollars from the cathedral's Coombe Fund, was a contribution to the Episcopal Community Services Foundation for the Economic Development Fund for Sustainability.

Education and Leadership Development

Education and theological development of leadership is built within Native American communities.

Theological Development: $4,000. This grant provided ongoing support for the involvement of LaCinda Hardy, Paula Hanson and Arnold Joe in the theological development collaboration of the Bishops Native Collaborative and the Iona Seminary of the Southwest, along with their attendance at the Vancouver Theological Seminary in 2015.

Youth Scholarships: $4,000. This grant supported the work of the Indigenous Mission of The Episcopal Church with scholarships for Native American youth to attend the 2014 Episcopal Youth Event (EYE).

Leadership Scholarships: $1,500. This grant provided for on-line training to develop lay and clergy leadership related to the Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery.

Scholarship Assistance: $626. This grant provided scholarship assistance to support Ryan Sam, a Navajo student, at Arizona State University in 2014.

Additional Scholarships: $2,500. This grant contributed to the travel and incidental expenses of Deacons Cornelia Eaton and Leon Samson to attend the Virginia Theological Seminary as full-time scholarship students in 2015.

Postulant Support: $2,000. This grant provided for continued support for Sharon Bryant of St Paul's Episcopal Mission, Bear Mountain, as she pursues her journey as a postulant. Sharon is also chief of the Monacan Nation.

Lillian Valley School: $2,000. This grant, presented in cooperation with Bishop Thomas Breidenthal's initiative, provided support for the Lillian Valley School in Blackfoot, Idaho.

Native American Participation: $8,145. Each year the cathedral's Native American Council supports initiatives that inform the church and community on issues and concerns that effect Native American communities throughout the United States. This year, the NAC supported Native American participation in the installation of Dean Gail Greenwell in April, as well as a weekend on Native American spirituality featuring presentations by Bishop Steven Charleston.

Empowerment Initiatives

Empowerment initiatives are for Native American societies and ministries related to life needs, cultural sustainability and spiritual growth within Native American values.

Lillie Ann Begaye's Mission: $4,948. This grant provided assistance to the poor and elderly in the backcountry of the Navajo Reservation.

Council on Native American Ministries: $2,000. This grant to the Council on Native American Ministries, working in cooperation with the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, is to begin the work of  identifying common goals and strategies to secure a meaningful response from the United States government, including possibly an apology and a national commission. The cathedral's Native American Council is committed to support this effort through the leadership of Erma Vizenor tribal leader of the White Earth Reservation.

The Miami Valley Council: $4,000. This grant assisted the Miami Valley Council of Native Americans Anpo O Project with transportation of school supplies and clothing to the Standing Rock, Cheyenne River and Pine Ridge reservations.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church: $4,000. This grant contributed to the financial support needed to conduct Vacation Bible School at St Mark's in Navajoland.

Choral Anthem: $3,000. This grant was used to commissioned a choral anthem by Brent Michael Davids of the Mohican nation based on a meditation by Bishop Steven Charleston.


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